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Minnesota Twins (37-60) at Boston Red Sox (54-41)
Sunday, July 24 - 1:35 PM EST
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Red Sox are winners of five straight series but are in danger of that streak coming to an end against the worst team in the American League. The Red Sox will try to squeeze out a split of the four-game series when they host the Minnesota Twins in the finale on Sunday.
Boston took the series opener 13-2 on Thursday to win for the ninth time in 10 games and pull ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. The Red Sox suffered through two very different setbacks in the next two games – a 2-1 loss on Friday and an 11-9 decision on Saturday – to fall 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles and continue the questions the team has had about the bullpen for last two months. The Twins pounded out 19 hits in Saturday’s triumph and have won four of their last five games as the players audition for a new general manager. Interim GM Rob Antony took over the team earlier this week when Terry Ryan was let go and has his work cut out for him as the team plans for the future with the trade deadline approaching on Aug. 1.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins LHP Tommy Milone (3-2, 4.71 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (12-2, 3.47)
Milone has won his last three starts and is coming off the best of the bunch after holding the Detroit Tigers to two runs and four hits in 8 1/3 innings on Tuesday. The California native surrendered five runs in 19 1/3 innings over those three turns. Milone has never beaten the Red Sox and is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA in four starts against them in his career.
Porcello earned the win in each of his last four starts and has not absorbed a loss since May 17 at Kansas City. The New Jersey native scattered four hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings against San Francisco on Tuesday for his fourth straight quality start. Porcello was reached for four runs – one earned – over seven innings without factoring in the decision at Minnesota on June 12.
1. The Red Sox optioned RHP Heath Hembree to Triple-A Pawtucket following Saturday’s loss.
2. Twins C Kurt Suzuki left Saturday after taking a foul tip to the facemask and is not expected to start on Sunday.
3. Boston RF Mookie Betts (knee) had an MRI come back showing no structural damage and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Twins 4